Faculty Implement Ideas, Share Experiences from Babson Entrepreneurship Symposium

March 03, 2017

Faculty Idea ExchangeALLIANCE – In June 2016, with the help of a grant from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, six University of Mount Union faculty members attended the “Babson See” symposium at Babson College to bring entrepreneurial ideas back to their respective classrooms.

Nearly a year has passed since the symposium and four of those faculty members shared their experiences and implementation with their colleagues at the monthly faculty idea exchange on Wednesday.

Dr. Pete Schneller, professor of education, has begun incorporating aspects of the symposium into his classes, including the senior capstone. 

“We want our graduates to be both educators and education reformers,” Schneller said. “These ideas fold into everything that I teach.”

Schneller also had his students “Rocket Pitch” to middle school students about aliteracy, which is the ability to read, but the lack of willingness to do so. His students used inventive techniques to attempt to get the younger students excited about authors, characters and themes.

An interesting idea that Dr. Chad Korach, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, brought back was that of the puzzle quilt, which gets students thinking in both restrictive and creative ways. This ultimately puts every student outside of his or her comfort zones in some way for entrepreneurial growth.

“At Babson, it was a moving experience for different ways of thinking,” said Korach. 

Dr. Ron Mendel, professor of exercise science and chair of the Department of Human Performance and Sport Business, always enjoyed the idea of entrepreneurship for his students, but the Babson experience was one he did not take hold of initially.

“I wanted to sit in the back to just listen and soak in as much information as I could,” he said. “However, they would not let me do that because they were very in your face and interactive, which was not in my comfort zone.”

After his eye-opening experience at the symposium, Mendel hopes to construct a course around the entrepreneurial spirit in exercise science, with the help of fellow Babson participant and director of entrepreneur studies at Mount Union, Professor Mike Kachilla.

“This type of faculty gathering allows us to introduce different teaching methods in an informal environment,” said Kachilla. “The Babson Gang, the name given to the faculty who attended the Babson Entrepreneurship Educators Symposium, was very excited to be invited to speak at this monthly roundtable.”

After the conclusion of the event, Kachilla stated, “I was very excited to see the number of attendees. UMU faculty are excited to learn that entrepreneurship is more than starting a business, it is about creating a mindset of innovation and problem solving.”

For more information on Mount Union’s minor in entrepreneurship, visit mountunion.edu/entrepreneurship-minor.

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